Retailers Wary Of Opening As Some States Restart Economies

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Many large retail chains are wary of reopening even while some states move toward starting their economies again following closures due to COVID-19. TGI Fridays Inc., Gap Inc. and Macy’s Inc. are some of the large national chains noting they will not partake in the early phase of reopening in places like South Carolina and Georgia per The Wall Street Journal.

Georgia is letting some companies such as bowling alleys and hair salons reopen Friday (April 24). Cinemas and eateries will open next week. The governor of South Carolina let retail stores start operations again this week at one-fifth of usual capacity or five people for each 1,000 square feet. Local governments, however, had the ability to opt to maintain the restrictions.

The large chains note that their phased plans to reopen will depend on local and state guidelines in addition to infection rates, consumer polls and market analysis. A number of big retail locations don’t bring in a profit if the number of customers who can get inside safely are limited to a few individuals, consultants said.

Big U.S. cinema companies like Cinemark Holdings Inc. and AMC Entertainment Holding Inc. are not likely to have some locations open in select states prior to others per unnamed sources cited in the report.

The National Association of Theatre Owners said per the report, “While some states and localities are beginning to authorize the opening of movie theaters under certain conditions, the movie theater industry is also a national one.”

It continued “Until the majority of markets in the U.S. are open, and major markets in particular, new wide release movies are unlikely to be available.”

In separate news, Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, was calling on the city’s eateries and casinos to open again, but was declining to say how that could be done in a safe manner per a past report.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.